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28 / 07 / 2010 - Congressman Tells Hearing on MDGs Abortion Doesn`t Lower Maternal Mortality
A prominent congressman who monitors international issues told a hearing today in the nation's capital that, as international observers monitor attaining the Millennium Development Goals, they need to remember that abortion does not lower maternal mortality for women.
The Outcome Document for the High-Level Summit on the Millennium Development Goals continues to be negotiated at the United Nations this week.
Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey addressed the House International Subcommittee on International Organizations.
"We must keep in mind that to achieve MDGs 4 and 5—reducing child mortality and maternal mortality--both mother and unborn child must be treated as co-patients," he said. "The life of one cannot be forfeited for the other. We must strive to save them both, and we can."
Smith referred to an April study in the British medical journal Lancet showing maternal mortality rates have been significantly overestimated by United Nations (UN) agencies.
The study cites four main reasons for the improvement: declining pregnancy rates in some countries, higher per capita income, higher education rates for women, and increasing availability of basic medical care including “skilled birth attendants" -- but it does not cite legalized abortion as a reason.
"While still too high, this landmark report is encouraging to governments who have been seriously addressing maternal mortality in their countries by increasing the number of skilled birth attendants, the availability of c-sections for women with obstructed labor, access to health care including safe blood, education of women, and economic development," Smith said.
"Many of these countries with very low maternal mortality rates have laws that restrict abortion," he continued.
Therefore, as far as the MDGs are concerned, "The inclusion of legalized abortion or 'reproductive health services' defined as abortion in the Outcome Document would be unjust to the littlest humans, intellectually dishonest, and counterproductive to these successful efforts," Smith said.
Smith told the panel abortion can have a negative effect on the reproductive health of the mother as well as the health of her subsequent children.
"At least 113 studies show a significant association between abortion and subsequent premature and low birth weight births. For example a study in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology showed a 36% increased risk for preterm birth after one abortion and a staggering 93% increased risk after two," he noted.
"Similarly, the risk of subsequent children being born with low birth weight increases by 35% after one and 72% after two or more abortions," Smith continued. "Another study shows the risk increases 9 times after a woman has had three abortions."
"Abortion hurts both mother and child and can cause sickness—and even death—in future children," he said.
Smith concluded with guidance and instruction for the witnesses in attendance.
"The MDG Summit Outcome Document will be very important for guiding our steps as an international community over the next five years. Every step counts, and I hope that each of our panelists will use all of your influence to ensure the Outcome Document keeps us on the path of saving both mother and child," he concluded.
Excerpt from Chris Smith's speech:
In fact, abortion can have a negative effect on the reproductive health of the mother as well as the health of her subsequent children. At least 113 studies show a significant association between abortion and subsequent premature and low birth weight births. For example a study in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology showed a 36% increased risk for preterm birth after one abortion and a staggering 93% increased risk after two.
Similarly, the risk of subsequent children being born with low birth weight increases by 35% after one and 72% after two or more abortions. Another study shows the risk increases 9 times after a woman has had three abortions.
What does this mean for the children? Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, and causes one-fourth of infant mortality in the world. Preterm infants have a greater risk of suffering from chronic lung disease, sensory deficits, cerebral palsy, cognitive impairments and behavior problems. Low birth weight is similarly associated with neonatal mortality and morbidity. Abortion hurts both mother and child and can cause sickness—and even death—in future children.
Abortion is child mortality for the child aborted, and can be mortality or morbidity for future children. Abortion methods dismember, chemically poison, induce premature labor or starve to death the fragile life of an unborn child. So terms like “safe abortion” are at best misleading. “Safe abortion” is never safe for the baby.
Additionally, at least 102 studies show significant psychological harm, major depression, and elevated suicide risk in women who abort. A comprehensive 2006 New Zealand study found that almost 80% of the 15-18 year olds who had abortions had major depression as compared to 31% of their peers. The study also found that 27% of 21-25 year olds who had abortions had suicidal ideations compared to 8% of their peers.
The Times of London reported in 2006 that, “Senior psychiatrists say that new evidence has uncovered a clear link between abortion and mental illness in women with no previous history of psychological problems.” They found “that women who have had abortions had twice the level of psychological problems and three times the level of depression of women who have given birth or have never been pregnant.” Safe abortion is a grossly misleading term. Abortion means dead babies and wounded mothers.
Source: Steven Ertelt - LifeNews.com Editor